Carisbrooke Shipping to trial hydrogen engine on board one of its vessels

UK-based shipping company Carisbrooke Shipping has partnered with London-based tech startup Carnot Ltd whose consortium has been awarded £2.3M to develop a zero-emission hydrogen auxiliary engine demonstrator.

Illustration; Image credit: Carisbrooke Shipping

Following design, simulations and rigorous testing, the single-fuel hydrogen 50kW engine will be integrated into a containerised system and mounted on the deck of one of Carisbrooke’s cargo vessels for a 40-day sea trial in early 2025 to partially supply electrical power to the vessel.

The shipping company said that the core goal of the project was to validate the decarbonising impact that high-efficiency, zero-emission engines can have in the maritime industry and build on work from the previous CMDC 1 & 2 grants.

In the future, this technology could be used to power tug-boats, ferries, cargo vessels, tankers and container ships.

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Bureau Veritas and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are also being engaged as the vessel’s regulatory authorities to ensure a safe path to regulatory compliance. As disclosed, this will be among the first projects to achieve Approval in Principle for hydrogen power generation technology on board a UK-flagged vessel.

“Over the last two years, Carisbrooke has been championing our efforts in bringing a double efficiency fuel agnostic engine technology capable of halving emissions using traditional fuels or reducing marine emissions to zero using next-generation fuels such as hydrogen, while maximising range,” Archie Watts-Farmer, CARNOT Founder, said.

They have supported our grant application processes and been the voice of the customer, helping us to 3 Clean Maritime grant awards the first of which, a feasibility study, was completed successfully with their help in 2022. They have gone over and above to provide us with information and support relating to operations, regulations, and business case development and we would not have been successful without their involvement.”

The UK’s race to decarbonise the maritime sector has been given another vital boost, with £60 million in Government funding distributed to innovative companies nationwide developing green technology. For the first time, the UK Government is funding the development of new clean maritime technology across a two-year period.

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The funding comes from the third round of the Government’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC3), which focuses on developing a range of clean maritime technologies including hydrogen, ammonia, electric and wind power.

“During the two-year investment period we will be required to demonstrate that our project will work in the real world, helping the technology to progress towards becoming an everyday reality,” Carisbrooke said.